And the winner is ... Mr. Spock! 

It's worked for bars, restaurants and quaint, New England bed-and-breakfasts. Now, Joe Yousef is convinced that thousands will jump at the chance to enter an essay contest to win his wholesale electronics parts supply business located in a Norcross office park, even though he's charging a $100 entry fee.

"People will be coming from all over the nation for this," he says.

Yousef, who got the idea for the contest from a friend, isn't looking for business experience or even an electronics background in choosing a successor to take over his Nutron Computers and Electronics Inc. Rather, the standout essay on the subject of "Why I would like to own and operate a computer and electronics business" will reveal the true entrepreneurial spirit of its author, he says.

"After doing this for 19 years, I want to retire and pass the business on to someone who has a burning desire to run an electronics company," says Yousef, who says he is prepared to train the winner and serve as a business consultant even after he hands over the keys in January.

The winner will get a business that sells computer systems, circuit boards and electronic components.

Included in the deal are the shop's inventory, fixtures, office equipment and four employees, who the new owner will not be obligated to keep on.

Yousef concedes, however, that he needs to attract 6,950 essayists with $100 to spare in order to meet his target price before the Dec. 31 contest deadline. But he's confident there are plenty of budding businesspeople who will take advantage of this "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Contest details will be posted on his company website, www.gonutron.com, where the most-frequently asked question is, "Do you carry 75 to 100 pf variable capacitors?"

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